Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:1-9
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours…(1 Corinthians 1:2)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I have a bad habit of skipping Paul’s greetings. Get to the point, my friend. We can pretend I’m so pious that I just can’t wait to get to the good stuff. The introductions are always more or less the same. You shouldn’t recycle material, Paul. It’s lazy.
When it comes to Corinth, I think maybe the introduction is the point. Read it. It doesn’t sound like the Corinth that we hear about in the rest of the letter. This doesn’t sound like a church divided. Full of sexual immorality, idolatry. Ignoring the widows in order to get drunk. Mishandling the Lord’s Supper. Bragging about spiritual gifts to raise themselves above each other. Corinth is messed up. But Paul writes to the holy ones, sanctified in Christ Jesus.
Because that’s who they are. The thing that unites us across time and space, that lets Paul write an introduction to Corinth that sounds like the introduction to Galatia and Ephesus and Philippi, is the Gospel: grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Corinth is not known by the cesspool of sin, but by the God who promises to give grace, forgiveness, and peace. The testimony is confirmed among the believers there. Their sins are forgiven because Christ is risen from the dead. Because Christ gives them His Body and Blood to eat and drink. Because Christ unites them into one Body. The proof of Christianity isn’t in our works, but God’s.
He joins us into fellowship across time and space into the mercy given by the Cross. The introduction is the point because God’s Word does what it proclaims. It gives grace, mercy, and peace to them, and to you. That sustains us to the end. Guiltless. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine! We feebly struggle, they in glory shine; Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine. Alleluia! Alleluia! (“For All the Saints” LSB 677, st.4)
Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch